Parents’ Online Buzz re Holiday Shopping Plans Focuses on Cost, Safety

December 6, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce | Videogames | Youth & Gen X

An analysis of online conversations among parents about their kids’ holiday wish lists reveals that cost and safety are top priorities, according to (pdf) Nielsen  Online.

Cost-consciousness emerged in nearly 20% of discussions, with parents expressing budget concerns and vowing to avoid excessive spending on gifts.

Also, 10% of discussions mentioned toy recalls, pushing many readers to seek out domestic products to “play it safe.” Toys “R” Us was cited as a helpful resource in determining safe toys.

Parents expressed their intentions to buy specific products in approximately 60% of discussions:

  • Nintendo’s Wii and DS stand out as this year’s “it” gifts; the Wii is especially popular because it provides entertainment for the whole family.
  • Some parents are hoping to buck this trend and have a “green” Christmas with no plastic or electronic toys; others discussed intentions to buy educational toys like books and art supplies rather than the latest gadgets.

“In 2007 parents are operating within tight boundaries – as always, they want to adhere to their children’s wish lists, but they’re sensitive to toy recalls and hoping to curb spending,” said Kate Niederhoffer, director of research methodology, Nielsen Online.

Most buzzed-about online retailers:


  • was the fastest-growing online retailer, when ranked by online mentions and inbound links, in November 2007 versus a year ago: It was up 112%.
  • Dell and Macy’s ranked No. 2 and 3, with 84% and 83% growth, respectively.

Holiday eShopping Index highlights:


  • Total visits to the Index grew 14% year over year in the week ended November 25
  • Fastest-growing product categories for the week, ranked by increase in visits:
    • Consumer Electronics – 129%
    • Jewelry – 60%
    • Toys/Videogames – 54%

Retail goods & services advertising in week ended November 25 (US):

  • Target Corporation was the No. 1 advertiser in Retail Goods & Services industry with 639.1 million image-based impressions.
  • Books, Music and Movies was the largest Retail Goods & Services industry segment with 712.8 million image-based impressions.
  • Office Supplies was the fastest growing Retail Goods & Services industry segment, increasing 285% in image-based impressions week over week.

About the data: The Nielsen Online Holiday eShopping Index comprises over 120 representative online retailers across 12 categories, and acts as a barometer to gauge the level of activity at online shopping destinations during the holiday season. The Index illustrates increased shopping activity through category growth.

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